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auchenflower, mid-range, restaurants and cafes

HOT: Sprout Cafe, 111 Haig Rd, Auchenflower

Sprout is a little restaurant in Auchenflower, not far from the Rosalie shops, which has a reputation for innovative, excellent food. On our visit we certainly weren’t disappointed.

I had the confit duck leg with white bean and porcini puree, red cabbage marmalade and duck neck and pistachio sausage. Sounds good, right? It was divine. My better half had the slow cooked pork belly and blacklip mussels with thai basil, saffron coconut milk and crispy prosciutto – also excellent. Most of the mains were $32 and the starters $19, and the quality more than lives up to the price. For desert, I highly recommend the brazzo mercedes, a meringue with a butterscotch fudge centre. It’s served with an expresso which you can pour over the top. Sounds strange, but the contrast between the slight bitterness of the coffee and the sweet butterscotch works perfectly.

I have a habit of ordering anything I don’t understand (just for the hell of it), and occasionally it brings me unstuck. Peking duck cappuccino? I couldn’t resist. Served in expresso cups, these $3.50 starters looked kind of like actual cappuccinos, complete with a generous head of foam, but there the similarities end. It was essentially a duck stock with – forgive me – a healthy layer of scum on top. Intriguing, inventive… but just a bit wrong.

But please don’t let me turn you off because of that one little detail. Overall the experience at Sprout was excellent. The atmosphere was lively and the service friendly. The wooden floors and walls gives it a slightly echo-ey acoustic that might be a bit loud for older diners, but it didn’t worry us too much.

It’s great to have a chef who is willing to push the boundaries and be a bit adventurous. All Brisbanites should give Sprout a try at least once.

  • Sprout Cafe, 111 Haig Rd, Auchenflower +61 7 3870 3030

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